Skip to Content

Posts under tag: PMO visitor info

  Page 1 of 2  Next Page »
May 15, 2018

Visiting PMO in May (2018) – PMO Opens May 25-26 of Memorial Day weekend for public tours

No viewing through telescopes is planned Friday due to poor weather. We hope to see you on Saturday!

PMO telescope dome in May 2018 with Milky Way rising.

It’s that time of year – public night sky tours at PMO begin Friday and Saturday, May 25-26, of Memorial Day weekend!

Please note that there are no tours on Sunday and/or Monday, even when there is a Monday holiday.

Always check the weather forecast and the PMO weather page before visiting; you should expect and prepare for nighttime temperatures in the 40s, even if it’s nice in town. Tours begin at about 9:00 p.m. and may last until midnight, although it’s not unusual for viewing to end earlier depending on conditions, so please arrive early, and check in at the greeting center next to the parking lot.

Sunset is about 8:30 p.m. Twilight viewing beginning about 9:00 p.m. will focus on the planets Venus (in the west) and Jupiter (in the southeast), as well as the Moon, which will be bright as it approaches full phase on May 29. Saturn will not be visible during normal tour hours for about another month. If you want to experience the best dark-sky viewing of certain star clusters, nebulae and galaxies (sky conditions permitting), please wait two more weeks until the Moon is out of the way.

The PMO campground is a primitive Forest Service campground, and does not accept reservations. Although there’s plenty of space for smaller vehicles and tents, please do arrive early if you plan to camp.

We’re looking forward to another great season, and to seeing you at PMO!

Photo credit: Eric Smith, Univ. of Oregon IT department.

April 14, 2018

PMO Volunteers Annual Meeting (2018)

The annual orientation meeting for PMO volunteers has been scheduled for Saturday April 28 at 3 p.m. at PMO. Potential new volunteers are welcome, but should call or email the PMO site manager first for additional information and to register. [Contact: Alton Luken, Operations Manager, Pine Mountain Observatory, ph. 541-382-8331, email aluken@uoregon.edu] New volunteers receive sky familiarization and telescope training, starting with PMO’s 8 and 10-inch portable scopes. Training sessions will be scheduled in May and June as needed. Although you can also offer to volunteer later in the season, the earlier the better!

The first public tour weekend at PMO is Memorial Day Weekend, Friday-Saturday May 25-26, 2018, weather permitting. (Sorry, no Sunday/Monday tours.)

April 23, 2017

PMO Volunteers Annual Meeting (2017)

The annual orientation meeting for PMO volunteers has been scheduled for Saturday May 13 at 4 p.m. at PMO. [Time revised to allow for Dr. Fisher to call-in from the UO at 5 p.m.] Potential new volunteers are welcome, but should call or email the PMO site manager first for additional information and to register. [Contact: Alton Luken, Operations Manager, Pine Mountain Observatory, ph. 541-382-8331, email aluken@uoregon.edu] New volunteers receive sky familiarization and telescope training, starting with PMO’s 8 and 10-inch portable scopes. Training sessions will be scheduled later in May and June as needed. Although you can also offer to volunteer later in the season, the earlier the better!

The first public tour weekend at PMO is Memorial Day Weekend, Friday-Saturday May 26-27, 2017. (Sorry, no Sunday/Monday tours.)

April 18, 2016

PMO Volunteers Annual Meeting

The annual orientation meeting for PMO volunteers has been scheduled for Saturday April 30 at 3 p.m. at PMO. Potential new volunteers are welcome, but should call or email the PMO site manager first for additional information and to register. New volunteers receive sky familiarization and telescope training, starting with PMO’s 8 and 10-inch portable scopes. Training sessions will be scheduled in May (and June) as needed. Although you can also offer to volunteer later in the season, the earlier the better!

The first public tour weekend at PMO is Memorial Day Weekend, Friday-Saturday May 27-28, 2016. (Sorry, no Sunday/Monday tours.)

June 4, 2015

Visiting PMO in June

With improving weather, June could be an excellent opportunity for you to visit PMO! Although it doesn’t get completely dark until 10:30 or so, twilight viewing of the planets Venus, Jupiter and Saturn will begin around 9:00 p.m., following sunset at about 8:45 p.m. Want to see or avoid the Moon? – Here are the details for each weekend: June 5/6 – bright moon rises between 11 p.m. and midnight, but won’t be high enough to observe when PMO is open. June 12/13 – no moonlight. June 19/20 – crescent moon sets by midnight, and should be visible in the west during PMO tours. June 26/27 – moon nearing full again and will be bright all night. The summer solstice (longest daylight) is on June 21. Perhaps we’ll see you at PMO!

May 18, 2015

PMO Opening Weekend

It’s that time of year again … Pine Mountain Observatory (PMO) is about to begin its annual program of Friday and Saturday evening public tours, from Memorial Day weekend (May 22-23) until the end of September. The weather forecast shows at least some clearing for this opening weekend, but keep in mind that although it may reach 70 deg F in town in the afternoon, it will likely drop into the 40s at night on the mountain (sometimes with wind), so be prepared with warm clothing and other supplies including food and water. Before leaving town, check this website for visitor information and current PMO weather.

Observing summary for May 22-23 weekend: Sunset at about 8:30 p.m.; short introductory talk followed by viewing of moon and the planets Venus and Jupiter in twilight, Saturn in late twilight (9:30 to 10:00 p.m.); deep sky objects – weather permitting – including the famous Sombrero Galaxy, Hercules globular star cluster and Ring Nebula thereafter until at least 11:00 p.m.

The mirrors of our 24-inch telescope have been refurbished with new high-reflection aluminum coatings, and views will be excellent on good nights. You won’t want to miss the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51, near the Big Dipper) either!

Looking forward to seeing you on the mountain!

September 25, 2014

Reminder … Final Weekend

Update (10/3): The PMO tour season for 2014 is now over. Thanks to everyone who visited this year, and hopefully we’ll see you again next year.

This is a reminder that the final weekend of public tours at PMO for 2014 is Friday-Saturday September 26-27. Currently the forecast calls for partly cloudy and cold conditions, with overnight lows down around 40 F. So if you do visit, please dress warmly. See previous post below for more information. Thank you.

September 3, 2014

Visiting PMO in September

PMO is scheduled to be open all four weekends in September, Friday and Saturday each week but not Sunday. This will conclude the 2014 tour season.

Moonlight will interfere with viewing Sep. 5-6 (although solar viewing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Saturday). The weekend of Sep. 12-13 will also see little dark-sky viewing, as the moon rises before 10:00 p.m. that Friday. (Saturday will have about an hour of darkness before moonrise.) The final two weekends should be excellent, weather permitting, and if there’s a really nice night, we’ll reopen around 3:00 a.m. for viewing of the Orion Nebula!

Mars and Saturn will remain visible in September, but only for a brief time after sunset, so early arrival is essential if you want to see them. On the final public night, Sep. 27, a thin crescent moon will join Saturn. Uranus and Neptune will be visible in one or more of the available telescopes.

See you at PMO!

August 27, 2014

Earlier Sunsets – Please arrive early!

It’s now getting late in the summer, and the sun is setting earlier by over 1 minute each day. The “tent talk” at PMO prior to our Friday and Saturday evening tours will begin at 8:00 p.m. this weekend (Aug. 29-30), and will begin by about 7:30 p.m. the final two weekends of the season (Sep. 19-20 and 26-27). Anyone wanting to view the crescent moon and Saturn this weekend should be ready by 8:30 p.m. Please note that although the Forest Service campground at PMO remains open, there will be no tours this Sunday evening even though Monday is a holiday. Have a great holiday weekend, and we’ll see you at PMO!

July 31, 2014

Visiting PMO in August

PMO is scheduled to be open all five weekends in August, Friday and Saturday each week but not Sunday.

For those interested in lunar observing, with a good view of the first quarter moon: visit on August 1-2 or 30. (The moon will still be very low in the sky on the 29th.) For moon-free dark-sky viewing, avoid the almost full moon weekend of August 8-9. The moon will also rise before midnight Aug. 15-16. Because of the bright moon, this will be a poor year for the Perseid meteor shower (peaks Aug. 12-13), although you may still use PMO grounds to view the shower, keeping in mind that telescopes will not be open.

Mars and Saturn will remain visible in August, with Mars passing Saturn later in the month.

See you at PMO!

  Page 1 of 2  Next Page »


Skip to toolbar